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Cooper streamliners, a genealogy

This page deals with the later cars that originated from the original Cooper record breaker. They are listed in the order in which they were originally built as record breakers and details of their later history are given when known. This is meant to be a work-in-progress page, so contributions will be most appreciated.


The Brandon T28, Mk VIII(R) streamliner, 1953

Cooper Brandon Cooper Brandon As already mentioned, the Coopers built a second streamliner in 1953 for Eric Brandon, based on a new chassis: the body was very similar to the original car and was still made of aluminium, but was lighter and somewhat simplified. It was successfully run at Montlhéry (apparently unpainted) in October 1953 when it set a total of 15 records: 7 in class J (all the same as in 1951, plus the 200 Miles), again the same 7 records in Class I, plus the 200 km in class H. After an early unsuccessful attempt to the H Class record, Eric Blandon had to leave for other engagements, so all the records were again set by John Cooper himself. (Photo at left from "Cooper Cars" by Doug Nye; photo at right from Autosport magazine).


Pooper
Pooper The car was then sold to Pete Lovely of Santa Barbara, CA, who installed a Porsche engine and raced it successfully as a sports car. It was known as a Pooper, a name that also applied to other Porsche-powered sports cars with Cooper chassis. Although it was later modified, in its earlier sports racing career Lovely's car still looked pretty close to its original looks (photo at left from www.tamsoldracecarsite.net, shows the car at Pebble Beach in April 1956. Go to that site to see it larger. Photo at right from unrecorded web source: if you recognise it, just let me know and I will acknowledge it).
The car still exists and is seen regularly in historic races.


datevenueclassdistance/timedriverspeed mphspeed km/h
5 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class I (350/500 cc)200 milesJohn Cooper103.62
6 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class J (250/350 cc)50 kmJohn Cooper105.71
6 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class J (250/350 cc)50 milesJohn Cooper104.93
6 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class J (250/350 cc)100 kmJohn Cooper105.10
6 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class J (250/350 cc)100 milesJohn Cooper104.39
6 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class J (250/350 cc)200 kmJohn Cooper103.87
6 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class J (250/350 cc)200 milesJohn Cooper103.46
6 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class J (250/350 cc)1 hourJohn Cooper104.32
8 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class H (250/350 cc)200 kmJohn Cooper114.08
8 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class I (350/500 cc)50 kmJohn Cooper111.14
8 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class I (350/500 cc)50 milesJohn Cooper111.22
8 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class I (350/500 cc)100 kmJohn Cooper111.40
8 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class I (350/500 cc)100 milesJohn Cooper112.35
8 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class I (350/500 cc)200 kmJohn Cooper112.89
8 October 1953Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class I (350/500 cc)1 hourJohn Cooper112.61



The Sawrey streamliner, 1956

Cooper Sawrey This car was built in 1956 by Fred Sawrey using a fiberglass body made from the moulds, or the aluminium panels (sources disagree) of the 1953 (Brandon) streamliner mounted on Sawrey's own Mark VI chassis powered by a blown JAP 1.100 cc. It set standing start records for the Kilo and the mile at the Bedford Airfield in September 1956. Car still exists, albeit minus the original engine, and is on permanent display (or anyway, was till I last checked) at the Myreton Motor Museum in Scotland. (Photo from "Castrol Achievements")


datevenueclassdistance/timedriverspeed mphspeed km/h
22 September 1956Bedford airfield, UKFIA Class G (750/1100 cc)standing kmFred Sawrey87.64141,1
22 September 1956Bedford airfield, UKFIA Class G (750/1100 cc)standing mileFred Sawrey93.88151,1



The Owen-Knight streamliner, 1957

Cooper Owen-Knight This, the fourth and last of the F3-based Cooper streamliners, was built by Arthur Owen and Bill Knight for one of their annual record breaking campaigns with various Cooper cars. It was again based on the 1953 (Brandon) car, this time using an old Mk IV chassis, but the design of the fiberglass body was considerably modified, including a closed cockpit. It was powered by a 250cc Norton and set 5 International records in Class K at Monza in 1957, driven by Bill Knight. (Photo from "Cooper Cars" by Doug Nye)
A similar attempt to Class J (350 cc) records with a JAP engine ended after just a few miles due to a valve failure, but the 1964 FIA list of standing records show a record set at Montlhéry in June 1958 by Owen and Knight for 500 miles in Class K (250 cc): the car is listed as "Owen", but I would assume it was their Cooper streamliner. I could not find any other reference to this attempt, so I do not know wether oher records zere set on the same attempt.
Cooper Knight 58 In October 1958 Bill Knight drove again the streamliner for the last time, at Thurleigh (an airfield?), to set a standing start mile record in Class J (350 cc) at 76.6 mph, again with a Norton. The photo you see on the right, the only one I found (from Classic & Sportscar magazine) shows that the roof had been removed and some other changes might have been carried to the tail section of the body. Any additional photos would be most welcome.

Cooper Mike Gee The car was later sold in Canada, were it was adapted to road racing by installing a Porsche engine and raced without much success. The Porsche was then replaced by a Coventry-Climax 1.100, and the car was acquired by Michael Gee, who further shortened the body and raced it successfully in the mid-sixties (photo courtesy Mike Gee). History of the car after 1968 is still unknown.


datevenueclassdistance/timedriverspeed mphspeed km/h
7 October 1957Monza circuit, IFIA Class K (up to 250 cc)50 kmWilliam Knight96.326155,012
7 October 1957Monza circuit, IFIA Class K (up to 250 cc)50 milesWilliam Knight97.602157,059
7 October 1957Monza circuit, IFIA Class K (up to 250 cc)100 kmWilliam Knight997.786157,370
7 October 1957Monza circuit, IFIA Class K (up to 250 cc)1 hourWilliam Knight97.260156,523
7 October 1957Monza circuit, IFIA Class K (up to 250 cc)100 milesWilliam Knight97.184156,406
19 June 1958Montlhéry circuit, FFIA Class J (250/350 cc)standing mileWilliam Knight76.6123,3
25 October 1958Thurleigh, UKFIA Class K (up to 250 cc)500 milesOwen, Knight79.10127,30



The Burke streamliner, 1959

Burke 59 Bill Burke used a fiberglass replica of the Cooper streamliner body (using a mould he had taken off John Fox's Cooper back in 1954) for his second Bonneville streamliner in 1959. The car had otherwise nothing in common with the original Cooper, but was again powered by a Clausen-engineered Harley-Davidson of 90 cubic inches, like the one tried on Fox's Cooper. It did a pass at 151.38 early in the week, well over the Class F record it was running against, but was then plagued with engine troubles all the week long. It never reappeared at Bonneville and its later history is not known. (Photo from Hot Rod magazine)
(NOTE: A model of the Burke streamliner will be released at a later date)


The replica streamliner, 1989

Cooper replica Another fiberglass replica was built recently in the US on an original Mark IV (T11) chassis. The replica was apparently authorised by John Cooper and it is said that the original plans were used, although several differencies are clearly visible in the photos. (Photo and info from race-cars.com: go there for more)




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